Larken Rose

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"Larken Rose is an anarchist author best known for challenging the IRS to answer questions about the federal tax liability of citizens, and being put in prison with no questions answered." Facebook

From the site Tax Protester Gurus: "Larken D. Rose attended a two-year college, then worked as a gardener until he married Tessa David, who had her own business transcribing medical records. Rose was helping her with her business when he began developing his "section 861 argument" and materials explaining and promoting that argument." See 861 Argument

The Myth of Authority

The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose

"The primary threat to freedom and justice is not greed, or hatred, or any of the other emotions or human flaws usually blamed for such things. Instead, it is one ubiquitous superstition which infects the minds of people of all races, religions and nationalities, which deceives decent, well-intentioned people into supporting and advocating violence and oppression. Even without making human beings one bit more wise or virtuous, removing that one superstition would remove the vast majority of injustice and suffering from the world."

The Myth of the "Myth of Authority" Doctrine
First Amendment Broadcast
The Sabbath Hour

It appears that Larken believes that the ubiquitous superstition is the idea that there exists any legitimate government authority. He uses the words "ruling class" interchangeably with the word "government". Then he starts using the word authority as if all authority is bad and continues as if all government authority is simply assumed by government.

He defines government as an authority over a person or place and then he suggests and even says that acceptance of authority is the result of a hallucination.

Besides saying that acceptance of government authority is the Most Dangerous Superstition he also says that Statism is the Most Dangerous Religion. He is somewhat right that governments of the world we call States exist at times as some sort of deity or superhuman entity. The officers of government claim almost godlike powers to decide and dictate what is good and evil, what is legal and what is illegal.

In the theories expressed by personalities like Larken Rose there is always some truth to what they say but there is often some misconception. To accept what they say as if they speak with authority would be counter to what Larken is telling us. So we should also question the words and ideas of Larken.

Larken says all these things rather rapidly and links them together in what appears to be a logical string of blunt statements expressed as facts we should obviously see. The illusionist depends more on what you do not see than upon what you do see. In fact the success of his illusion is dependent upon getting you to look at what he chooses you to see. If we slow his statements down we may see some gaps in the facts of history and the process that brings rise to the authoritarian state. Filling in some of the blanks we may be able to see the whole truth and provide for it.


The men who hold positions of power in our common form of authoritarian government are the "gods many" that Paul the Apostle talks about in 1 Corinthians 8:5[1].

To subjugate a free people you must change their thinking and to do that you will need to alter the definition of words.

  • Are these rulers godlike or are they actually gods?
  • Is Statism[2] a Religion?

The truth is most governments today have a strong religious component. The definition of Religion 200 years ago and at times 2000 years ago was about the performance of your duty to your fellow man which was to love your neighbor as yourself. Pure Religion was to take care of the needy according to your personal choices of charity without being spotted or even touching any of the benefits offered by what we see the text call the "world".

Here is where Larken misses the truth. Throughout the centuries societies developed voluntary systems to help take care of people in society that might fall on hard times. It was a natural process for the people to look among the their community to find some men and women who were very giving and caring people. They were good at helping people and spent a lot of time doing just that in their community. Some people supported their effort to help others by contributing resources to them and they sometimes worked as a team to make sure that no one was neglected.

These people were called many things in many cultures but essentially they were the Priests of society. Over time people sometimes put too much trust or faith in these priests which gave them power over the people. The Romans had two words that might be translated religion. One was what you did which was religare and the other, superstitio, had more to do with what you thought.

In the beginning what was given was entirely voluntary and when it was given it was called a sacrifice and considered sacred or holy. Things that were considered sacred or holy were considered to be separated from their original owner who freely gave them for the purpose of helping society's members who fell in need. Those sacred or holy things were bound to that purpose and under the authority of the priests who were to use them to serve society by helping the needy. If people did not see the priests benefiting society they simply stopped contributing to them.

By the time of Cicero the word religare was connected the term relegere which means “to read over again”. This idea was more acceptable when meaning of religion went from what you do to what you think. People began to talk about religious beliefs more than religious duty. This happens when the welfare of the people is taken care of by forced offerings or taxes rather the freewill offerings that originally provided for the welfare of society. Rome was careful to tax foreigners first as the original source but then as things progressed all who depended upon the benefits of their Public Religion became enfranchised as citizens within an employed system of Corvee.

At one time Augustus Caesar supported half the welfare state of Rome out of his own resources. He was able to do this because he had confiscated the wealth and property of all those he defeated during the Roman civil war and imposed tribute upon other foreign countries. While there was still a great deal of charity in Rome the people's reliance upon the public supported temples for their welfare moved the emphasis on religious duty to religious thought or belief.

The Roman and Greek people's dependence upon Public religion caused them to be suspicious and even contemptuous of Christians who would not apply for welfare through the temples of Rome. They had their own Private Religion through the ministers of the Church appointed by Jesus the Christ.

These ministers of Christ were to be the benefactors of the people through faith, hope and charity and what Paul the Apostle called the perfect law of liberty. They were not to be like the Benefactors of the Roman state who exercised authority one over the other.

That early Church appointed by Christ was one form of government that had authority over what it was freely given but had no authority that allowed them to force the people to contribute or even obey.

This "non-force" approach to society was detailed by people like John the Baptist and Jesus who preached against the the people's growing dependence upon government policies of forcing contributions like the Corban of the Pharisees.

One of the purposes of the Church appointed by Christ was to "return every man unto his possession and unto his family"[3]

When the people become slothful or covetous, which often occur simultaneously, they will abandon the principles and virtues required to maintain a free society. The early Church did not crown men over other men like later churches did. They were forbidden to be like those governments that exercised authority one over the other. The Modern Christian has shifted from being a doer of the word to believing that what he thinks saves him. He is perfectly comfortable with having the modern Benefactors of government who exercise authority one over the other to provide him with welfare at the expense of his neighbor. But to do this he must give men almost godlike power and positions through mindless dependency.

We see the same dependency happening with modern doctors. Some people's brains seem to shut down when they are listening to a doctor. It also happens with lawyers and even politicians. This power granted by the people has a tendency to corrupt even well-meaning men and woman who may abuse that undue power granted by the people.

People are responsible for their own corruption but the people who give them so much power are also responsible for the problem they are creating. What they are doing is being slothful. If it is a doctor they should ask more questions, get other opinions and do some personal or collective research with other people. But they often don't. They just do what the Doctor ordered. The same is true of other people like Lawyers, accountants, priests, ministers, politicians or almost anyone with letters after their name. They even listen to actors as if they know something because they "act".

Larken is really saying stop giving them so much power. That is not such a bad thing because to give people too much power can certainly tempt them to do bad things.


  • Is all government bad?
  • Can you have a government that does not take away any of your right?
  • Can you have one form of government where the public servants are servants?
  • Can you have leaders in society that do not have power over the people but are titular?
  • Can people hold some position in a government having authority over things and places but not having any authority one over the other?

I think if Larken will step back and take a closer look, if that is possible, he may see something he missed.

Question Authority

Question authority.jpg

The slogan "Question Authority" has been around at last since the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates.

So let us question authority.

From where is the authority of government derived?

Does your father have authority over his son?

Does the Mother nursing you have the right to put you to bed and tell you to stay in your room?

Does your father whose house you live in and whose table you eat at have a right to tell you when to come home?

Can you terminate your parents right to tell you what to do and not do?

After all they gave you life, fed you sheltered you, changed your diaper for years. Just because you get a job and your own apartment can you just terminate all the natural or rightful authority of your parents?

The truth is if your natural father builds the house you live in, puts food on the table for you to eat, cloths on your back and protect you from all the things that might stop your life then he has a right to make choices for you. He earned it because your life is something he made, not something you made.

What if the state provides food, clothes, shelter, education, & health care for you?

Does the state now have some of the rights of the natural father?

The truth is almost all government authority is merely the right of the Conscripted fathers who sit in offices created by governments. In fact the power and authority of the State is mostly based on the Patrimonial right of kings and rulers who derived that authority from the natural fathers who produce society.

Protection draws to it subjection, subjection, protection.
Protectio trahit subjectionem, subjectio projectionem.

All this about substitute fathers and state as your father is why Jesus said "And call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." Matthew 23:9

So authority may be derived naturally from the offer of protection and provision.

This brings us back to the words of men like Plutarch[4] and Polybius who said "The masses continue with an appetite for benefits and the habit of receiving them by way of a rule of force and violence. The people, having grown accustomed to feed at the expense of others and to depend for their livelihood on the property of others... institute the rule of violence; [5] and now uniting their forces massacre, banish, and plunder,[6] until they degenerate again into perfect savages and find once more a master and monarch." [7]

We are warned about this appetite for benefits in Proverbs 23 if we sit to eat at the table or welfare system of rulers. It certainly tells us not to covet our neighbor's goods or anything that belongs to our neighbor. The Modern Christians ignore all that because he believes he has saved himself by what he thinks about Jesus.

It is these Covetous Practices that makes us Merchandise and gives authority to men to rule over us.

Consent not

Larken seems to think that government by consent is not possible but of course no one says that government by consent means that you have to consent as you go.

If I agree to pay for a meal and then eat it I have to pay after the point of consent and the food server has a right to extract payment for the meal or I may be forced to do dishes in the kitchen. If I take benefits from government, especially ones borrowing to provide those benefits, I may be forced to do dishes or what ever it takes to pay back the government.

The Bible is full of admonitions about Consent, and Consent not; about not making Contracts and being told to Swear not but we are also told that what should have been for our welfare would become a Snare.

So there is government by consent because either you consented to the terms or you took the benefit under false pretenses. Everything the government requires is well published by them. The fact that the people do not read the fine print cannot be blamed on government as much as it can be attributed to the sloth and covetousness of the people.

Larken should take a closer look at what Christ was really saying; after all Christ was the Beloved anarchist.

If you were to suddenly remove government, police, public supported fire departments, road crews, courts, jailers, and stop the flow of welfare checks, social security, medicare and medicaid and all the other benefits provided by government borrowing and taking away from our neighbor you would have chaos, riots, looting, burning and a general collapse of society.

While Larken is trying to get people to think outside the box or cell they are now inhabiting I believe he could better serve his fellow man by working for an alternative.

Larken Quotes

“In truth, the belief in "government" is a religion, made up of a set of dogmatic teachings, irrational doctrines which fly in the face of both evidence and logic, and which are methodically memorized and repeated by the faithful. Like other religions, the gospel of "government" describes a superhuman, supernatural entity, above mere mortals, which issues commandments to the peasantry, for whom unquestioning obedience is a moral imperative.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

“Pride in being a "law-abiding taxpayer" is not the result of having helped people, which the person could have done far more effectively on a voluntary basis; the pride comes from having faithfully obeyed the commands of a perceived "authority.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

“For something to be "government," it must, by definition, do something that average people do not have the right to do. A "government" with the same rights as everyone else is not a "government" any more than the average man on the street is "government.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

Actually the average man on the street could be government if he would take back his responsibilities. If we were actually a government for the people, by the people and of the people[8] instead of electing someone else to be the government then we would have the true division of power required in a free government. We would still have to care about each other's rights, family, and possessions as we do our own.

“Frederick Douglass, a former slave, witnessed and described that exact phenomenon among his fellow slaves, many of whom were proud of how hard they worked for their masters and how faithfully they did as they were told. From their perspective, a runaway slave was a shameful thief, having "stolen" himself from the master.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

What if a man is bought at one's personal expense from another who holds him as a slave?

Does the slave now owe the cost of his purchase before he may go free?

Can he go free without compensating the purchaser of his freedom?

Should he be obligated to pay back the ransom paid to set him free?

If he is clothed, housed and fed at the expense of another is there not some debt in the relationship?

Should there not be some guilt if we do not obtain our freedom by some honorable means?

I understand Douglass' point, and sympathize with Larken's position or advocacy, but choose to take a broader look at the problem and solution.

“The truth is that any form of authoritarian control—any type of "government," whether constitutional, democratic, socialist, fascist, or anything else—will result in a set of masters forcibly oppressing a group of slaves. That is what "authority" is—all it ever has been, and all it ever could be, no matter how many layers of euphemisms and pleasant rhetoric are used in an attempt to hide it.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

We have already shown that there is a natural authority of the Father and when the state takes over the responsibility of the Father he may also take over the rights and authority of the father. We understand that there are more than merely "constitutional, democratic, socialist, fascist" governments and their are Republics and pure republics. In our book Contracts, Covenants, and Constitutions we show that any constitutional government can be dangerous and disastrous without the 5 biblical limitations on power.

“The belief in "government" is not based on reason; it is based on faith.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

Belief and Faith are synonyms. Trust in government may be faith and allegiance but may also include more. The statement is correct, though the limited definition of government leaves much to be desired since there are government forms that do not exercise authority over the people.

“Legalizing" wrong does not make it right.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

This is true but contract makes the law. If you take the benefits then you may incur an obligation that is enforceable. The truth is all centralization of power will lead to corruption of that power.

“If, on the other hand, you value peaceful coexistence, compassion and cooperation, freedom and justice, then teach your children the principle of self ownership, teach them to respect the rights of every human being, and teach them to recognize and reject the belief in "authority" for what it is: the most irrational, self-contradictory, antihuman, evil, destructive and dangerous superstition the world has ever known.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

The belief in "authority" includes belief in the right of your parents to teach you to "value peaceful coexistence, compassion and cooperation, freedom and justice". Was Larken home-taught? Did he take care of his aging parents or did the State? To leave our natural responsibilities to the State and deny all claim to the correlative rights is a "most irrational, self-contradictory, antihuman, evil, destructive and dangerous superstition".

“Instead of being offended at the insult and injustice of being coercively controlled and exploited—in fact, instead of even recognizing that as injustice— many victims of "government" oppression feel profound loyalty to their controllers.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

“There would be a difference between "rule of law" and "rule of men" only if the so-called "laws" were written by something other than men.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

“In short, despite all of the complex rituals and convoluted rationalizations, all modern belief in "government" rests on the notion that mere mortals can, through certain political procedures, bestow upon some people various rights which none of the people possessed to begin with.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

“When confronted with the idea that it is wrong for them to be forcibly deprived of the fruits of their labor, even if it is done "legally," such people often vehemently defend those who continue to rob them, insisting that such robbery is essential to human civilization.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

“If a hundred people were shipwrecked on an island, who would imagine that forcing most of them to serve and obey a "protector" would be necessary or useful? And who would imagine that letting one or two of them forcibly impose their morals on the rest would make such a group more virtuous?”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

“Every "government," including the most oppressive regimes in history, has been funded by the payment of "taxes" by loyal, productive subjects.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

“Perhaps one of the most heinous examples of this was the dropping of nuclear bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, which constituted by far the two worst individual acts of terrorism and mass murder in history. Together, they resulted in the deaths of around two hundred thousand civilians—about seventy times worse than the number of deaths from the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. The admitted goal was to inflict fear, pain and death on the population of an entire country, in order to coerce the ruling class of that country to bend to the will of another ruling class.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

“No political ritual can alter morality. No election can make an evil act into a good act. If it is bad for you to do something, then it is bad for those in "government" to do it.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

“In the long run, there is no such thing, and can be no such thing, as "limited government," because once someone is accepted by others as a rightful master, and believes himself to have the moral right to rule, there will be nothing and no one "above" him with the power to restrain him.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

“In one sense, there is no positive, active solution to "government." The ultimate solution is negative and passive: Stop advocating aggression against your neighbors. Stop engaging in rituals that condone the initiation of violence and reinforce the notion that some people have the right to rule. Stop thinking and speaking and acting in ways that reinforce the myth that normal people should be, and must be, beholden to some master, and should obey such a master rather than follow their own consciences.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

“When the people recognize and accept no master, they will have no master. Ultimately, their bondage, and the means to escape it, exists entirely inside their own minds.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

“Ironically, atheists are often quick to point out the destruction that has been committed throughout history in the name of religion, but fail to notice the gruesome results of the god they bow to: "government.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

“people cannot delegate rights they do not have, which makes it impossible for anyone to acquire the right to rule ("authority"). Also, people cannot alter morality, which makes the "laws" of "government" devoid of any inherent "authority." Ergo, "authority"—the right to rule—cannot logically exist. The concept itself is self-contradictory, like the concept of a "militant pacifist.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

“To argue that human beings need to have a rightful ruler, one with the moral right to forcibly control all others, and one whom all others are obligated to obey, does not change the fact that there is no such thing, and can be no such thing.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

“Whether an old lady is robbed by an armed street thug or by a well-dressed, well-educated "tax collector" makes no difference, morally or in practical terms.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

“Just as everyone in a tribe praying to a volcano god would reinforce the idea that there is a volcano god, so begging politicians for favors reinforces the idea that there is a rightful ruling class, that their commands are "law," and that obedience to such "laws" is a moral imperative.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

“To be blunt, the belief in "authority" serves as a mental crutch for people seeking to escape the responsibility involved with being a thinking human being. It is an attempt to pass off the responsibility for decision-making to someone else: those claiming to have "authority.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

“Your actions are always determined entirely by your own judgment, and your own choices. To try to attribute your behavior to some outside force, such as "authority," is cowardly and dishonest. You made the choice, and you are responsible. Even if you just stupidly obeyed some self-proclaimed "authority," you decided to do that.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

“The men who wear black dresses and wield wooden hammers and refer to themselves as "the court" are seen as the madmen they are. Those who wear badges and uniforms, and imagine themselves to be something other than mere human beings, are not seen by the deprogrammed as noble warriors for "law and order" but as confused souls suffering from what is little more than a mental disorder.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

“Any "government" that had the consent of its subjects would not need, and would not have, "law" enforcers. Enforcement happens only if someone does not consent to something.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

“Mortals cannot alter morality any more than they can alter the laws of mathematics. Their understanding of something may change, but they cannot, by decree, change the nature of the universe. Nor would anyone sane attempt to. Yet that is what every new "law" passed by politicians pretends to be: a change in what constitutes moral behavior.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

“There is a certain feeling of comfort and safety that one gets by conforming and obeying. Believing that things are in someone else's hands, and having trust that someone else will make things right, is a way to avoid responsibility.”
― Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition

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  1. 1 Corinthians 8:5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)
  2. Statism a political system in which the state has substantial centralized control over social and economic affairs.
  3. Leviticus 25:10 And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout [all] the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.
  4. “The real destroyers of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations, and benefits.”
  5. Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
  6. Luke 16:16 The law and the prophets [were] until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.
  7. "But when a new generation arises and the democracy falls into the hands of the grandchildren of its founders, they have become so accustomed to freedom and equality that they no longer value them, and begin to aim at pre-eminence; and it is chiefly those of ample fortune who fall into this error. 6 So when they begin to lust for power and cannot attain it through themselves or their own good qualities, they ruin their estates, tempting and corrupting the people in every possible way. 7 And hence when by their foolish thirst for reputation they have created among the masses an appetite for gifts and the habit of receiving them, democracy in its turn is abolished and changes into a rule of force and violence. 8 For the people, having grown accustomed to feed at the expense of others and to depend for their livelihood on the property of others, as soon as they find a leader who is enterprising but is excluded from the houses of office by his penury, institute the rule of violence; 9 and now uniting their forces massacre, banish, and plunder, until they degenerate again into perfect savages and find once more a master and monarch" Polybius: The Histories (composed at Rome around 130 BC) Fragments of Book VI, p289
  8. “This Bible is for the Government of the People, by the People, and for the People.” John Wycliffe's introduction to his translation of the Bible in 1382 long before Abe used the quote.